New SPURR PAVE program offers public agencies collective buying power through a piggybackable procurement to significantly reduce purchasing timelines
ForeFront Power was awarded as a vendor through the PAVE program’s competitive RFP process due to the company’s comprehensive, competitively priced EV charging and fleet electrification services, as well as the team’s extensive experience working with public agencies
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — ForeFront Power, a leading provider of community solar and commercial- and industrial-scale solar energy, battery storage and electric vehicle charging services, is one of four firms selected by SPURR (School Project for Utility Rate Reduction) to provide turnkey electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to the public sector in California and across the U.S., including educational institutions, local governments, special districts, and other agencies.
SPURR, a California Joint Powers Authority, issued a competitive request for proposals (RFP) in March 2023 seeking vendor submissions to participate in the Procurement Assistance for Vehicle Electrification (PAVE) Program to accelerate vehicle electrification in the California public sector. Today marks the official launch of the PAVE program, through which public agencies can efficiently electrify their fleets and install EV charging stations by utilizing SPURR’s existing master contracts with awarded vendors. Leveraging SPURR’s collective buying power and completion of the competitive RFP process, the PAVE program can help agencies minimize vendor selection costs and significantly reduce procurement timelines, saving months if not years.
ForeFront Power was selected for the SPURR PAVE program based on the company’s comprehensive and flexible delivery options, thorough project design, competitive pricing, deep knowledge of rebate programs and incentives, and extensive track record. With a portfolio of 1,500 completed distributed generation projects across the U.S. and Mexico, the ForeFront Power team holds experience with over 120+ public sector customers in California alone, spanning K-12, community colleges, universities, local government, and special districts.
“Electrifying public fleets is a key strategy to reduce emissions throughout California. We’re proud that public agencies of various sizes can take advantage of the value provided by the SPURR PAVE program to electrify their fleets, reduce local air pollution, and curb CO2 emissions. This program helps districts fast-track their sustainability goals, provides a long-term roadmap for electrification, and saves districts incredible amounts of time, internal human capital, and consulting fees,” said Charlie Benzyk of E.L.M. Consulting, the SPURR PAVE technical expert. “ForeFront Power’s bid response was incredibly comprehensive when it came to pricing, flexible delivery options to meet public agency product and financing needs, as well as ADA compliance and other accessibility considerations. Their team showed great understanding of and experience with guiding California public agencies through complicated projects.”
“We’re honored to be selected by the SPURR PAVE program to electrify transportation in California and beyond,” said Rachel McLaughlin, SVP, Sales and Marketing at ForeFront Power. “Since our founding in 2017, ForeFront Power has been in the business of saving the private and public sectors money through smart investments in distributed energy and storage. In a natural extension of the value we have long delivered, we can now help public sector customers identify the best ways to reduce fleet operating costs through investments in cleaner, quieter, and more driver-friendly transportation.”
“ForeFront Power is a technology-agnostic developer of turnkey vehicle electrification projects, and we are committed to supplying public agencies with the best mix of solutions to meet their specific needs,” said Kateryna Bly, Senior Director, Product Management at ForeFront Power. “Whether organizations are looking to electrify their first or tenth tranche of vehicles, or they are looking to optimize performance on existing charging infrastructure, ForeFront Power’s team is ready to support.”
A key contributor to ForeFront Power’s selection was its deep experience in renewable energy development and asset management, which includes remote monitoring and a comprehensive operations and maintenance service. The selection committee also noted that ForeFront Power delivered the most comprehensive response regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) considerations, risks, and costs. To provide vehicle electrification customers with the greatest number of options for charging infrastructure design, ForeFront Power offers a wide range of Level-2 and DC-Fast Charging products from leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the industry.
Over 240 organizations were invited to participate in the SPURR PAVE RFP and responses were received from 14. From those 14 submissions, 4 organizations were awarded: ForeFront Power, Highland Electric Fleets, InCharge Energy and Alco Building Solutions.
While California public agencies were the primary focus in the development of the SPURR PAVE program, public agencies outside California that determine the PAVE piggybackable contract meets the necessary requirements in their jurisdiction are also invited to leverage the SPURR PAVE program as non-member program participants.
California Poised to Expand its Global Leadership in Fleet Electrification
California is the largest automotive market in the U.S., valued at $143 billion and encompassing 12% of U.S. automotive sales (Knoema). The Golden State is also the world’s fourth-largest EV market, with EVs already comprising 25% of in-state auto sales. Curtailing vehicle tailpipe emissions is an important component of the state’s 2045 targets for carbon neutrality, especially as tailpipe emissions have led in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) since 2016 (Energy Information Administration). Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles — those often found in public fleets — are responsible for a disproportionate share of these emissions.
California is primed for a transition to all-electric automotive transportation and hauling. In April 2023, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued the Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) ruling that mandates an end to combustion truck sales by 2036 — a world first that will not only reduce GHG emissions, but will result in $26.6 billion in public health savings from reduced asthma attacks, ER visits and incidences of respiratory illnesses, and will save fleet owners an estimated $48 billion in total operating costs through 2050. Public and private investment in zero-emission trucks and infrastructure is expected to reach nearly $3 billion between 2021-2025 (CARB).
The impact of this ruling may soon reach far beyond California. Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont are also likely to adopt the ACF ruling, as they and Colorado also adopted CARB’s 2021 Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) ruling, which mandates that 100% heavy-duty vehicles sold in California must be “zero emissions” where feasible by 2045.
Now that the majority of established and emerging automakers are producing electric vehicles — and with around 150 models of medium- and heavy-duty, zero-emission trucks commercially available in the U.S. today — managers of vehicle fleets have more options than ever to pursue electrification. However, SPURR surveyed 185 unique California public agencies in Spring 2022 and found that while 80% had plans to electrify some or all of their fleets, less than 25% had a plan for achieving it. The most significant hurdles cited by respondents included the time and money associated with the procurement process and a lack of internal expertise in the implementation of electric vehicle infrastructure.
About the SPURR PAVE Program
The SPURR PAVE program is designed to provide public entities pursuing fleet electrification with an “EV infrastructure roadmap” — a single source for planning, installation, and management of complicated, multi-phase EV charging infrastructure projects, and a relief from much of the dollar and human capital cost of running their own solicitation process. SPURR sought vendors that would maximize value by combining the most relevant project experience and the highest quality service. The SPURR PAVE Program is designed to provide public entities pursuing fleet electrification with an easy infrastructure roadmap and a single source for planning, installation, and management of complicated multi-phase EV charging infrastructure projects. It does this while providing relief from much of the dollar and human capital costs of each public agency running its own solicitations.
Vendor submissions to the PAVE program were evaluated based on the requirements of two California public school districts (“lead agencies”) with current EV charging needs and 27 indicative sites that present standard considerations for EV charging projects. Though the two participating agencies represent K-12 education, the PAVE program is designed to streamline procurement for all public agencies, including community colleges, universities, cities, counties, transit agencies, irrigation districts, sanitation districts, and non-profit entities with purchasing rules. Aside from those two participating school districts, a variety of other California public agencies have expressed interest in the PAVE program and are now evaluating offerings from awarded vendors.
Submitting vendors were expected to be capable of performing, either directly or through subcontractors, all the work necessary to complete turnkey EV charging infrastructure installations from planning through commissioning and ongoing management. Required experience included: analysis of current fleet and long-term planning to meet vehicle electrification goals, make-ready services covering contracting, electrical upgrades and ADA compliance, installation and commissioning of EV chargers, and ongoing operations and maintenance. Experience in managing and/or monetizing Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) or similar credits was considered beneficial but not required.
SPURR indicated that participating public agencies could engage with awarded PAVE program vendors in turnkey electric vehicle charger installation projects encompassing one or more project phases including: site analysis and road-mapping, project planning and material selection, installation/project management/commissioning and ongoing support, maintenance, and guaranteed uptime.
SPURR is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) duly formed and existing under the California Joint Exercise of Powers Act. SPURR was formed in 1989 to seek reduction and control of utility rates on behalf of its members. SPURR membership is open to all California public agencies. Members of SPURR’s Board of Directors are all management-level employees of California public school districts, county offices of education and community college districts. With over 300 member organizations, SPURR aggregates purchasing power and expertise for thousands of public agency facilities across the state of California. SPURR procurement programs include natural gas, electricity, solar energy and energy storage, utilities expense management and conservation, LED lighting, electric vehicle and charging infrastructure, and telecommunications and networking.
About ForeFront Power
ForeFront Power is a leading developer of community solar and commercial- and industrial-scale (C&I) solar energy and battery storage projects in the U.S. and Mexico, also offering vehicle fleet electrification services. Over 15 years of working together, the ForeFront Power team has developed more than 1,500 behind-the-meter and community solar projects, totaling more than 1.1 gigawatt-DC of renewable electricity. ForeFront Power serves business, government, education, healthcare and community solar customers with a broad array of development, asset management and advisory services from its San Francisco headquarters and via teams based in New York, Mexico City, and across the U.S. through a hybrid work model.
A wholly owned subsidiary of global energy infrastructure and investment leader Mitsui & Co. Ltd., ForeFront Power operates under Mitsui’s North American investment arm, MyPower Corp. Mitsui holds a robust balance sheet and an “A” credit rating from Standard & Poor’s.
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SOURCE ForeFront Power